Alabama Passes Bill Lowering Age for Intrastate Truck Drivers to 18
On May 15, Alabama lawmakers passed a bill lowering the CDL age requirement to 18 years old to drive on intrastate highways. These truckers will be restricted from hauling hazmat and/or oversized loads that require permits from the Alabama DOT. Once the bill is signed, it will go into effect on February 7, 2020. Learn more here.
DOT Seeks Public Comment on the Removal of Regulations Surrounding Autonomous Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced today that all outlooks are given full consideration. The two notices will have a 60-day comment period, which commences once they have been published in the Federal Register. For more on the notices, click here.
Panama Canal Authority Plans to Enact Draft Restrictions Next Week
In the midst of a five-month drought in Panama, the Panama Canal Authority has put its sixth set of draft restrictions in place since the start of 2019. Beginning next week, the maximum allowable draft will be 43 feet for ships using the Neopanamax locks and 38.5 feet for ships using the Panamax locks. According to Carlos Vargas, VP of Environmental and Water for the Panama Canal, rainfall in the Panama Canal Watershed was 90 percent below its historical levels in December of 2018. For more information on the drought and its impact, click here.
U.S. Removes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs from Canada and Mexico
On May 17, the United States Trade Representative confirmed that the tariffs were to end within 48 hours of the statement. The tariffs, established in March 2018, were 25 percent on steel and ten percent on aluminum for Canada and Mexico. The end of these tariffs acts as a step toward the ratification of the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA). For more on the statement, click here.
U.S. Terminates Turkey’s Designation as a Beneficiary Developing Country
Effective May 17, the Republic of Turkey’s designation as a beneficiary developing country has been terminated. Therefore, exports from Turkey will no longer be eligible for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Additionally, tariffs on Turkish steel are expected to be reduced from the current rate of 50 percent to 25 percent. To read more, click here.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Speaks with Walmart CFO About Retailer’s Plan Following Tariff Increases
Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, spoke with Walmart CFO Brett Biggs after Biggs announced that specific items and categories at Walmart would likely be subject to higher prices in the wake of tariff increases. Mnuchin is working with Biggs and other major retailers to evaluate sourcing alternatives to keep prices low for U.S. consumers. For more on the retailer’s price increases, click here.
Target Releases Impressive Q1 Numbers
Target announced today that an increase in online sales of 42 percent has led to a 4.8 percent rise in comparable sales. The retailer’s private label brands have proven to be beneficial by offering consumers items that cannot be bought elsewhere. Additionally, visits to Target stores were up 4.3 percent in Q1. Read more about the retailer’s success here.
Statistic of the Week
The year-over-year increase in the March 2019 Freight Transportation Services Index (FTSI), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The FTSI is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry. Click here for more stats.
Links of the Week
Catch up with the Ascent Global Logistics team at the below upcoming events:
2019 PPAI EXPO EAST
Atlantic City, NJ – June 3-5, 2019
2019 3PL AND SUPPLY CHAIN SUMMIT
Atlanta, GA – June 10-12, 2019
International Holiday Calendar